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LADIES SING THE BLUES – Part 3 Marie Gabrielle

LADIES SING THE BLUES – Part 3 Marie Gabrielle
August 18, 2005 | Author: Greg Phillips
Australian Musician spotlights three emerging female singer songwriters with their feet firmly on the ground and their amps churning out honest, organic rhythm & blues. MIA DYSON, ANNE McCUE AND MARI GABRIELLE


mariegabrielleThose who saw New York born singer songwriter and guitarist Marie Gabrielle perform at this year’s Melbourne International Music Festival would have been oblivious, apart from the quality sounds coming off the stage, to the incredible pedigree of her band. Who knew for instance, it contained guitar legend Hugh McCracken (Billy Joel, Steely Dan, The Monkees), a backing vocalist whose previous boss was Carly Simon, and a keyboard player who shares the stage with Sheryl Crow.

At the time of this interview, her debut album “Restless Angel”, which features Dr John on piano, hadn’t even been released in America. The point I’m making is that Gabrielle must carry some clout. For musicians of that calibre to want to be involved with this singer songwriter before anyone has had a chance to hear a recording, would indicate that there’s a whiff of something interesting in the air. Sure, Marie has worked the American music scene for some time, been involved in studio work, jingles and even TV acting, however the justification for such regal allegiance does in fact lie in the virtue of her new album.

“Restless Angel” is an honest work, a handsome mix of bluesy rhythms, country ballads and rockin’ roots. Initially earmarked as a traditional blues album, Marie was encouraged by those who knew her to express her other music personalities, a decision she hasn’t regretted.

“I was playing with people and letting them hear things and had previously only showed them my blues material. Then I started playing them my other stuff… it was all in my mind. I thought that I had to accommodate one genre. It was a birth that started and grew into something very beautiful” said Gabrielle.

Like most musicians, Marie’s musical influences derived from whatever happened to be in her parents’ record collection. For Christmas she’d often find Aretha Franklin or Temptations singles in her stocking, placed there by her Spanish mother. Her Italian father was more into Tony Bennet. Gabrielle suggests that dad was “floating” when she told him that ‘Restless Angel’ would be recorded at Tony Bennet’s state of the art recording facility.

Marie’s experiences working in New York studios gave her an appreciation of quality organic tone, and she knew exactly how her first disc should sound.

“I was very adamant in my decision to record everything live on tape. The whole band recorded together for about eight days. Hughie (McCracken) said it was like recording in the old days, getting that really warm sound. Pro Tools and that is really popular now but I really wanted that warmth from the 70s and 80s. Then we went back and did all the overdubs on Pro Tools.”

Gabrielle used a lot of old gear to acquire the warm tones she was chasing, Neumann U87 mikes, crusty old Fender Reverb amps, and some unusual methods were implemented as well..

“Brian (Dozoretz) at the studio had this technique where he’d take an old record player from the 40s, and put it on top of an amp, miked the guitars through that and got this really dirty guitar sound. But I also love Bad Cats and as silly as it may sound, I just love this old Roland Cube 60 that I have. It gets really dirty.”

Gabrielle can’t wait to get back to Australia. She found Melbourne’s streets and parks to be a great place for inspiring new material, and is keen to get back for our summer music festival circuit.


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